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Rothko Untitled 1949

Rothko wrote, “When I was a younger man, art was a lonely thing. No galleries, no collectors, no critics, no money. Yet, it was a golden age, for we all had nothing to lose and a vision to gain. Today it is not quite the same. It is a time of tons of verbiage, activity, consumption. Which condition is better for the world at large I shall not venture to discuss. But I do know that many of those who are driven to this life are desperately searching for those pockets of silence where we can root and grow.”

2017 Summer Kids Book Collection - From Emu to Dinotrux

We are happily drowning in books. Now that my middle child can independently read, there are two kids in the house who will often disappear in silence crouched over a good book. And since visiting the library is a weekly occurrence, my youngest is more than proud to carry her library tote there and back with books just right for her. So here are some recommendations for board books, biographies, classics, picture books, easy readers, chapter books and more!

Celebration - A Beachy 3rd Birthday Party

So we were supposed to have my daughter’s 3rd birthday at the beach but because of horrible traffic delays and a mudslide detour we decided to bring the beach to us and celebrate her birthday at home.

Mindful Moment: A Deep Breath of Love

Whether you call it a mindful moment or a deep breath of love, children who practice meditation are learning skills to better weather both small and great emotional upheavals. My son’s mantra and some book recommendations for families.

In the Garden: Budding Geologists

According to them, this is a gem that they have unearthed. So in addition to being amateur paleontologist and archeologists, they’ve decided to add geologists their their resumes. And why not! Is it imaginative play or science in action? Perhaps a little bit of both. If reading books about minerals, rocks and gems leads to digging in the garden. Or if digging in the garden leads to researching about rocks. Either way, its a great feedback loop to grow a passion for science and the natural world. Here are 8 great books for your budding geologist.

Building Blocks: Another Reason to Love Legos

I built this little racer. Do you know who designed it?

Practical Life: Immediate Floral Gratification

Want to give your child a discrete and doable task? Want to see your child beam with pride? Give her/him a bunch of cut flowers and a vase.

Activity Gallery - These Toddler Days

Looking for toddler activities? Here is a gallery of ideas which are sure to please the 2-4 year set.

Star Wars Book Collection - Do you know who Yaddle is?

My kids love reading about the Star Wars universe, though they do not have any interest in seeing any of the films. Did you know that Yoda had a counterpart named Yaddle? Well, according to my daughter this is Yaddle’s house & garden. May the force be with you.

In the Garden: Homemade Children's Yurt

Have a sturdy tree and a few spare pieces of lumber? Even something simple as a tarp draped over a strong tree branch will make for happy playing. Remember it doesn’t need to be fancy, it just needs to exists. Your kids will supply their imaginations to make it a grand affair.

Personal Care: Kids & Toothbrushing

Even toothbrushes deserve a moment in the spotlight.

Free Printable: Jumanji Board Game

Every time my children read Jumanji by by Chris Van Allsburg they are inspired to create their own board games. This time I was inspired to translate the story’s board game into a printable. Just print the pdf onto legal size paper, arm yourself with a die and brave the perils of the jungle in order to reach the golden city.

Cameras in Small Hands

We recently took a trip to the San Francisco Zoo and as we have been doing for the past few years, our eldest two kids (8 & 5 years old) brought along a camera and a camcorder. These are perhaps the “best” images of the bunch but the process of taking the photos and videos is more important than the end results. They are training their artistic eye, practicing their focus and concentration and learning by trial and error how to manipulate these devices.

Iterate: Workroom Shelves

I think organization requires iteration, witness my (slightly obsessive) reorganization of the kids’ workroom shelves. Can you spot the changes from my most recent organization?

Activity Gallery - Makeup Free Toddler Selfies

I know makeup-free selfies are very popular. Consider these photos “makeup-free” toddler selfies. No re-touching, taken on the fly with my smartphone and chronicling the day-to-day grind of my 2 year old.